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Saturday, February 22, 2014

"A Closer Look at a Life"

  •        Inspired by … “Only here for a little while” by Billy Dean

The tragic event left no room for anything but remorse.  Not a close friend or family member, the death still crept close to home. 

Jonathan read in the paper yesterday morning, “Local 35 year old man dies of a heart attack.” 

The article, which was the top story in this small town, portrayed a life that many would envy that drew to an abrupt end.

The man, Steven, had been living a full life.  He had a wife and three small children.  He was the principle at the local high school; which enabled him to influence many young lives in a positive and powerful way.  The newspaper article included declarations of just how warm a man he was. 

His wife, in a state of grief from this sudden tragedy, spoke words of deepest adoration for a man she knew and loved.  The man’s friends also spoke glowing testimonials to this man to whom they were all endeared.

Steven had led a very meaningful life.   Although Jonathan only knew the man in passing, the story in the newspaper this morning brought a tear to his eyes.  Thoughts were triggered into Jonathan’s consciousness about his life and how much more he could be living his.

Jonathan was nearly as old as the departed.  Although, he had a wife and daughter, his life seemed insignificant.  His work, which was encompassed by a forty-hour a week union job at the factory in the nearby town, seemed without merit.  The drudgery which he confronted from a vocation which was repetitious and monotonous did not permit room for pride or any creative impulse by which to bring meaning.  The pay he received from a union job was ample; however, the doldrums of his work defined his life.

His married life also was pleasant, but lacked excitement.  He loved his wife and child, yet the routine of life had turned tiresome.

As Jonathan read the story of the death of a young man barely older than he, it caused reflection concerning his own life.

“’Take time to smell the roses, was the saying I guess,'” Jonathan muttered under his breath.  But, what did the trite saying mean?  “I guess it means to enjoy life’s simple pleasures.”

Such thought would point him in the right direction, but where would these transient thoughts lead him?   “I guess it’s a mindset,” Jonathan thought to himself.

He finished reading the newspaper article and poured himself another cup of coffee.  His wife and daughter were still sleeping; he had to awake from bed early every morning to make it in time for the early shift at the factory.  He looked outside his kitchen window and noticed the Sun slowly rising and permeating the shrubbery and the green of the leaves of the trees.  A crooked smile appeared on his face as he folded the newspaper and put it on the table.  He took another sip of coffee and realized it was time to make his way to the work.

The drudgery of his life, briefly contemplated this morning, could not immediately be eradicated; however, as he drove his car to work he felt a tinge of hope in his heart.  It was not hope for a better life or wealth and riches; it was simply hope for the simple splendors that might transpire today.

As he drove to work he put on his favorite radio station.  He listened intently as the music of the background inundated his senses.

Upon his arrival to work he noticed all the familiar faces.  He had friends, but not close friends.  He had fellow craft workers that worked beside him at the factory.   The conversation never got beyond casual cordiality, but there was a certain amount of camaraderie incorporated into the ceremony.

“What was it about? Was it about the perspective by which we lead our lives?”  He didn’t know and the thought escaped his consciousness as quickly as it had entered.

He loved his wife and daughter, but the feelings had become stale.  His love had not faded, but lacked enthusiasm.

He had to bring something new into his life, but he didn’t know what it could be.  “A person’s perspective on life, that’s what it is,” Jonathan thought to himself.  “The only thing that turns a mostly mundane existence to a meaningful existence is perspective.”

As he drove back to work early this evening, these thoughts captured his senses once more.  He
listened to the music.  The newspaper article, still fresh in his mind, caused more thoughts to arise in his mind. 

The man who recently had died had lived a full life.  His life had been similar to Jonathan’s own.  What made the life of the deceased seem more precious than Jonathan’s?  It was the love.  It was the love that he felt in his heart, it was the love he felt for his family, it was the love that he felt for his friends.  It was the love in his heart that had endeared him to so many people and had brought meaning to his life. 

Jonathan arrived home from work.  He turned on the television before eating dinner for his family.  He hugged his daughter and kissed his wife.  They had their dinner together while they enjoyed a trivial sit-com on TV.

It was the love that had endeared so many to Steven.  It was love that Jonathan hoped he could give to his family and love by which to live his life.

1 comment:

Arlee Bird said...

So true that perspective defines many things we have not previously understood after we start thinking more deeply about those things. The idea was nicely portrayed here.

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